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some of my fav people

March 30, 2021

you may not know I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers danlos syndrome III. it is a somewhat rare genetic condition which affects my connective tissue (which is nearly one’s whole body). my tendons and ligaments are faulty, so my muscles have to step in to do their work for simple things like holding up my head and keeping my bones where they are supposed to be. only 1 in five thousand people are thought to have it, so doctors often don’t know how to help. luckily, I work with a couple of alternative practitioners who have literally kept me together through some pretty scary flares. both of them have been severely affected by covid, so I wanted to share their info here. if you are looking for a fantastic functional movement pro to help with an injury, aging, or just feeling better in your body, I have to recommend my friend, Ashley Matthews. she is currently living upstate New York, but does virtual privates by zoom. after a crazy septic hip infection and a month’s stay in the hospital which left me in pain and walking with a cane, Ashley got my body working so well, you wouldn’t know the doctors thought I might not walk normally ever again. I went to see her straight from the hospital and in one hour had made more progress in both mobility and pain reduction than I made in a week of in-hospital rehab (which by the way my insurance didn’t pay for and cost twice what I earned my first year out of college). she is also a gifted massage therapist and uses that in sessions to help with your movement goals. also on my team, is Marika chandler, an acupuncturist so prescient, had she been born in the 1600s I’m certain she’d have been branded a witch. Marika was a dancer and has also been trained in pilates at the Kane school, so she has a body awareness unlike any other acupuncturist I’ve seen. she keeps my health at a level several steps above what I’m able to accomplish on my own and with both trigger point and traditional needle work, keeps my sad little eds body functioning at a pretty high level. she is also currently treating patients in upstate New York, but travels to the city on Sundays, as well.

if you are looking for top level alternative care, I highly recommend both of these incredibly talented women.

I’m opening a new store

March 30, 2021

gosh, covid has really changed life for all of us. my husband and I have temporarily moved out of New York City and are planning a move to a little town upstate where we’ll have a tiny store in the front of our house.

we’re close to hudson, kingston, catskill, woodstock, so if you are in the area after may, please plan to stop by and check out my offerings. I’ll be selling my bags and other creations (of course), paintings, photos by my talented husband, fabio, antiques, vintage dishes and some homemade goodies including the chocolate covered cherries I’ve been working on for months.

watch my instagram @pamelabarsky for information about hours and opening date. (we’re remodeling right now and hope to be done in a few short weeks.) here is the awesome antique mercantile cabinet I’ve bought to display all my wares. hope to see you soon.

luxurious masks at an ‘I am on unemployment’ price

July 30, 2020

let’s be realistic, mask wearing is going to be with us for a good long while, so why not invest in a quality mask, made by hand from the most indulgent of materials?

pamela barsky masks are made with linen, a luxurious fabric that gets better and better with age. on the side that touches your face, I use primo cotton batiste sourced from switzerland because it is just about the softest cotton on the planet. after months of research, I created a pattern that sits perfectly on the face. I’ve put flexible metal at the bridge of the nose for a custom fit . and I’ve used black elastic because, ick, have you seen what happens to white when you’ve worn it a few times?

but that’s not even the best part. not only are my masks handmade. and crafted from the finest materials, each one is printed with an hilarious and original pamela barsky quote so you can tell the world how you feel.

so why buy an ordinary mask when for under twenty bucks you can treat yourself and show the world how clever you are? just click on the link above to see all my styles and to order.

starting to work over here

May 30, 2020

after three months of inertia, the little wheels in my head are starting to turn. a few ideas are starting to pop out. really, no pun intended.

for months, there have been three empty soda cans sitting on the microwave in the factory. I’d been meaning to put them in the recycling, but, gosh, I’ve been so busy watching tv and eating jelly beans, I really couldn’t fit it into my busy schedule. then, one night, without warning, I hopped out of bed like a wild woman and ran to the studio with a pen in one hand and a manicure scissor in the other. I came back with this.

staying creative when everything else has stopped

April 12, 2020

it is hard to think about designing new bags right now; i have no idea what the world is going to look like when we are allowed to come out from our hibernation. however, I have not been sitting here doing nothing. while Fabio, my husband has been perfecting the decadent pancakes normally served at “chez ma tante” by our friend Jake, I’ve been working on my drawing and trying to learn how to code. yesterday I drew this.

catch this

March 5, 2020

my recent trip to japan inspired this apron, the new uniform at pamela barsky chelsea market and pamela barsky soho. come see it in person.

32 years later, I’m still recycling

February 28, 2020

32 years ago, I designed and manufactured my first product, a blank journal made from an unloved and tossed out book. (lol, there’s a vendor in one of the markets I do who has no idea the idea they ripped off–spiral bound vintage books– was mine;I walk past their booth often, chuckling.) I’d been wanting to make journals out of books for a long time, but the machinery to do it was prohibitively expensive. I mean really expensive, about $150,000. then I found a man who helped me convert a $1000 machine into one that could punch holes in my book covers. I found a company willing to produce metal spirals instead of the cheap plastic ones that were commercially available. I took a booth at a trade show and the books were a hit–the line of people who wanted to buy them snaked down the aisle. and for years, I made my living turning old things into new things. I started making books out of old bingo game cards. out of recycled tee shirts. I hardbound 2.5 inch books with mid-century scarves that still reeked of their previous owner’s perfume. now, as most things do, recycling and upcycling have come around again. today, I’m making new bags made with old discarded plastic bags. I think they are beautiful. I hope you do, too.

in two days, plastic bags are illegal in New York city

February 27, 2020

of course, that made me put on my thinking cap. within moments my hands were moving so fast, they were just a blur. it was like Edward scissor hands over here–blades chop chop chopping. and then, just like that there was a pouch made from bubble wrap, a tote made from upcycled plastic bags, and another tote with a plastic bag pocket. all of them are available in chelsea market and soho. if you’d like to order online, pop me an email at pamelabarsky@mac.com and I can tell you what we have in stock.

movin’ on up, er, down

January 6, 2020

a few nights ago, while trying to relax after my 73rd day working without time off, I found myself watching a filmed-live re-creation of one of Norman lear’s excellent shows, the Jeffersons. the redone show was ok, and by that I mean kinda dull, but it moved the amazing theme song front and center in the crowded space I call my mind.

today, I opened my newest shop, in artists and fleas soho, (490 broadway at Broome) and the song continues to float around in my head. but since I live in the east village and the shop is in south of Houston, I’m technically “movin’ on down.”

I’m open daily 11 to 8. I hope you’ll pop by to buy a bag or two. while you are there, if you hear a wobbly voice singing very off key, please try not to judge. I write way better than I sing.

Bryant park opens soon

October 24, 2019

on sunday, I’m going to pick up my Bryant park booth and drive it into the city so I can set up in time for our oct 31st opening. we’ve got loads of new products and a spiffy new glow in the dark floor, so hope you’ll pop by to say hi.

i made these today

October 6, 2019

i was in paris and supposed to meet a friend at the wine school where she worked.  my phone was almost out of juice and afraid I’d not be able to find it without my gps, I headed over early so I could find the place before my phone went dead.  the neighborhood used to be a wine depot, where bottles of wine were brought in and stored before they were distributed to local stores.  that’s long gone, and like in many major cities, replaced with a hipster mall.    after enjoying a glass of white and a little plate of cheese, I found myself in a store with the cutest men’s accessories.  and that’s where I got the idea to do a smaller, more feminine version of a man’s Dopp kit. these are my newest styles.

meow

October 6, 2019

I signed up for he writing class first; I make my living writing so how disruptive could it be? then, the mold making class I’d not been able to fit into my schedule–the one I needed to take so I could get started on my new candle line–opened up at a time I could attend. I’m having a big birthday this year and have been saying, all my life, I wish I could draw, so I signed up for a life drawing class as well. my September was very busy.

as it turns out, I’m not half bad at drawing. and I caught on to plaster mold making so quickly I was making molds at home after the first of five lessons. but the writing class didn’t go so well. the first week, after saying, “great writing,” to five, in my opinion, not great essays by other students, the teacher ripped into me so hard, I actually checked the floor under my chair for blood. she told me my essay was gross, the people in the story, despicable, then went on to criticize me personally. I was shaken.

Not sure if I hated the teacher and the class because she’d torn my work to shreds, I returned for the second session where I didn’t read aloud so she didn’t have a chance to critique my work; Despite no personal attacks, I found myself disliking her and the class just as much as the previous week.

I’m going through a little cash flow crisis right now, so didn’t want to throw away the $500 I’d spend on the class. I continued to attend, each week wondering why the other students treated her like a guru when I found her and the class so ridiculous. the last night, we went around the room, each saying what we are working on and nearly every student proclaimed their deep love for the teacher and what they had learned. I felt like I had experienced a completely different class.

so, what did I learn? Writing is time consuming and the work it takes to get an essay published just isn’t worth the tiny pittance papers and magazines pay. And I *&^%^ hated my writing teacher.